Bride & Groom Returns To Califonia Marriage Licenses

After an outcry from Christianists who objected to the “Party A” and “Party B” designations on California’s new marriage licenses, the state has decided to allow the option of checking boxes marked “bride” and “groom”.

In a notice posted on its Web site, the California Department of Public Health says it is making the change because many couples still wanted the option of identifying themselves in traditional terms. When same-sex marriage became legal in the state on June 16, the health department issued new gender-neutral marriage forms with the words “Party A” and “Party B” where “bride” and “groom” used to be.

The latest paperwork, which county clerks will be required to use starting Nov. 17, will have blank spaces for applicants’ names and personal information next to the words “First Person Data” and “Second Person Data” and optional boxes for checking “bride” or “groom.”

Because “bride” and “groom” appear in both sections, couples could check the same title twice to reflect a union between two men or two women. The health department also told county clerks that the designation of Groom or Bride is not required. But in the time since, state officials have looked for alternatives to satisfy couples who did not like the ring of “Party A” and “Party B,” spokeswoman Suanne Buggy said Monday.

Apparently same-sex couples will also be able to mark “bride” and “groom” if they choose, which should make for some amusing discussions.